5 Ways to Travel Like a VIP at LAX

Exclusive lounges, gourmet dining, makeovers & massages

Caviar deviled eggs and bubbly at Petrossian LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Instagram by @rs__120
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From expedited customs entry kiosks and exclusive lounges to complimentary makeovers and express massages, there are plenty of ways for travelers to live it up like a celebrity at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). With a valid boarding pass for same-day departure, travelers can now go into any LAX terminal and explore a wide range of dining, retail and lounge options. Here are some tips for travelers looking to live large.

1. Relax in a Stylish Lounge

Star Alliance Lounge at LAX
Star Alliance Lounge at LAX | Photo courtesy of Gensler

Looking to relax and refresh? Economy passengers can purchase a day pass to gain access to airline lounges for some pre-flight refreshment and relaxation in a social or quiet space, some even with a view of planes on the tarmac. Also, first-class and business-class passengers can enjoy a hot shower, a curated selection of culinary dishes and other amenities in some of the best airline lounge spaces in the world.

The Private Suite
Photo courtesy of The Private Suite

For the ultimate VIP travel experience, become a member of The Private Suite, a private terminal at LAX. Instead of 2,200 footsteps from car seat to plane seat, members of The Private Suite can do it in just 70 footsteps. Private TSA screening is done in the building, and The Private Suite team handles ticketing and luggage. Members spend their preflight in totally private suites, each with its own bathroom, food service pantry, two-person daybed, and a runway view of aircraft landing and taking off. When it’s time to board, members are driven in a BMW 7-Series sedan across the tarmac directly to their aircraft. For more info about membership and to book a trial experience, visit The Private Suite website.

2. Indulge in Steak, Caviar and Wine-Filled Chocolates

Smoked salmon and caviar flatbread at Petrossian LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal
Smoked salmon and caviar flatbread at Petrossian LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal | Instagram by @petrossianlax

Those who prefer to explore the terminals can enjoy world-class dining options, thanks to the recent multi-million dollar renovation efforts that introduced many L.A.-based concepts to LAX terminals. Travelers can savor a petite filet mignon at B Grill by BOA Steakhouse in Terminal 7, sample caviar and wine-filled chocolates at Petrossian Caviar & Champagne Bar in Tom Bradley International Terminal, and even pop open a bottle of wine or champagne at SeaLegs Wine Bar in Terminal 2. On-the-go baskets filled with caviar, champagne, and cheese are also available from Petrossian so travelers can treat themselves to a fancy picnic at 33,000 feet!

3. Speed through Customs on Arrival

Automated Passport Control kiosks inside Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX
Automated Passport Control kiosks inside Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX | Photo courtesy of TBIT Equipment Company

LAX offers 190 Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks that will expedite the entry process for international arriving passengers. There are 100 APC kiosks at Tom Bradley International Terminal - the other 90 are distributed at T2, T4 and T7. Available in 22 languages, the APC kiosks let international travelers submit their customs declaration form and biographic information electronically. Easy-to-follow instructions guide travelers through the process, which includes scanning the passport, taking a photograph, answering questions, and fingerprinting for non-U.S. citizens. Travelers will then receive a receipt confirming their information and proceed to an officer to complete their entry into the United States. Individuals can complete the process within 90 seconds and a family of three within four minutes.

4. Unwind with Pampering Massages and Treatments

XpresSpa inside Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX
XpresSpa inside Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX | Photo courtesy of Westfield Airports

There’s nothing like a pampering massage or facial to relax the mind and body before boarding a flight. Travelers can treat themselves to massages, manicures, pedicures and facials at XpresSpa at Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminal 5.

5. Shop Like a Boss

Beauty experts and fine spirits connoisseurs will find their own slice of paradise at the Duty Free Shops (DFS) in Tom Bradley International Terminal. Travelers can enjoy two-minute complimentary makeovers from Bobbi Brown, hand massages from Jo Malone, skincare consultations from La Prairie and also free samplings of rare spirits and liqueurs that are exclusive to LAX, without the need to purchase anything. If in doubt, DFS also have shopping consultants ready to help travelers find the perfect gift for loved ones or themselves.

Bonus: Top 5 Healthy Experiences

Discover LAX

LAX time-lapse photo
LAX | Photo courtesy of Mike Kelley